The REAL problem. FS and the culture of control

OKAY! I’ve clearly expressed one or two things poorly in this post, so IF YOU ARE NEW, and choose to read it, please do, and then after, skip to this one before you accuse me of thinking the Illuminati are running the game. This isn’t that. AFTER you read it, or even before, read THIS for the clarification. TY. The REAL problem. FS and the culture of control - #85 by SlenderBarracuda

The locks are the problem, but they aren’t the origin of the problem or the only problem.

It took me awhile to see it for what it is, but the problem is the desire to CONTROL THE PLAYER.

“You WILL PLAY THE GAME THIS WAY!” has been pounded into us since day one.

“It’s our way or NO WAY!” we hear from the white knights now.

But what this is about… under the very real symptoms like the locks, is UNQUESTIONED IDEA that the player needs to be controlled. These aren’t just ‘normal limits’ you might find in any game. This is about controlling us.

Now, I know I’ll hear ‘of course there’s limits, it’s that kind of game.’ Sure, there’s going to be limits, but this going above and beyond ‘limits.’ This is a pattern. Before someone claims I want god mode or the ability to pass through walls, this is about a PATTERN over going above and beyond to control the player, not the regular limitations found in any game.

(Some of what I’m about to say might be out of date, I left the game months ago, and I missed some updates. )

In closed beta and shortly after, we learned about things like ‘reverse falloff for lasguns’ where up close they did much less damage. (I think that’s been reduced.) We were angry.

With it was “Dodge with a ranged weapon autofails, to force you to use melee.”
The W40K melee weapons keep turning off to force you to use them without their special.
There was a HUGE speedbump animation when going from melee to ranged to force you to pick melee over ranged most of the time.
The psyker had two of the best pushes in the game with his ult and his sword, both nerfed.
The ogyrn can’t shoot with his shield and the ogryn/zealot don’t get toughness from ranged without significant investment.
The weapons can’t be properly modded to allow us to control our builds. (locks)

Here’s another. They will spawn enemies in behind you. Direct teleportation, not behind a door and walks over, (I’ve been calling these ‘cheat spawns’) but also there’s no way to stop spawns and every good spot on any map seems to have a door at it’s back.

Yeah, it’s a horde shooter, yeah, you are going to have enemies all over, but there’s more method to this then shows on the surface. Take the map Chasm Logistratum, in the middle is a console defence with a balcony over it. Ever notice how no one experienced ever uses the balcony? It’s because if you are up there you trigger large amounts of spawns behind you which don’t come anywhere near as much if you stay near the console. Near the console you can see them coming, up there you are ambushed constantly.

To force you not to use the best spot but to hang out downstairs.

The spawn zones are specifically designed to prevent tactical cleverness. You (almost) can’t ever 'clear the area behind you and only fight to the front" as would be default in any real world team combat. They also don’t have footstep sounds, (except the boom zombie.)

So, You are punished for… so many things… to ‘force you into a playstyle’ and is it any wonder the game is dying?

It’s the locks, but it’s not JUST the locks.

We’re GAMERS. We don’t like to be forced into a mold. We want you to give us tools and throw problems at us, not boss us around, and make no mistake, the CULTURE OF CONTROL is what is killing this game.


The Mourningstar was a big one for that too. Before the new Armoury location, you always had to walk past the cash shop from spawn to get to the Armoury, and then again to get to Hadron by the shortest route. The lack of hotkeys for Mourningstar functions. The timers that ‘encouraged’ checking the Armoury every hour.

They’ve since slightly rolled that back by repositioning the Armoury next to Hadron, but the lack of (official) hotkeys and some other factors like the spawn position, the size of the Mourningstar, etc. still makes it feel a bit player antagonistic and purposeless.


I remember that. People hated it. Then someone came up with a way to check the shop while offline, and that was awesome, but eventually it just wasn’t worth logging in to get something good.


  1. I’m not sure you’re talking about the same locks that the rest of the community is talking about
  2. The ACTUAL locks are frustrating, but the next update will loosen those up
  3. Dodging with a ranged weapon works as well as dodging with a melee weapon. Maybe my memory is just poor, but I don’t remember that being a thing even at launch
  4. If you aren’t activating your chain/force/power weapon’s special or using their specials in general, you’re just hurting yourself in the long run. Heck, there are a number of blessings to make certain weapon specials absolutely nutty if you want to specialize
  5. The animation speedbump was fixed a whiiiile back
  6. No comment on psyker pushes, as I didn’t actually roll one before the nerfs to compare
  7. The ogryn’s shield has always been a melee weapon. It’s a glorified stick and a slab of sheet metal. If it’s supposed to fire bullets I’ve been using mine wrong. That being said a new shield variant with a gun would be kind of sick, not gonna lie
  8. Those are two of the most melee-oriented classes in the game, so yeah, they benefit more from going into melee to regain toughness
  9. Yeah, true, weapons can’t be modded. I wouldn’t mind swapping the torch out for a bayonet (or vice versa for ye olde lights out runs).

A lot of your concerns have been patched or changed. The rest of it sounds like you’d benefit from learning the in and outs of your class. If nothing else, you already own the game, so it won’t hurt to check out the next big patch and see if you still find the game lacking.

There are a number of ways to build different playstyles for each class; the lack of subclasses cetainly hurts that, but if Darktide’s subclasses are anything like Vermintide 2’s, there’s that to look forward to. In the meanwhile, off the top of my head, there’s a whole slew of builds for each class with their own distinct identity:

  • DoT veteran stacking bleeds and burns (melt you some assassination targets). Or like, an autopistol. Your entire team will hate your John Darktide guts, but you’ll be too busy showing up on the killfeed to mind
  • Elite hunting vet with a heavy-hitting ranged weapon and your preferred choice of stabby sticks for horde clearing. There’s the ever-classic bolter, plasma guns have been cracked for a while, there are ways to make certain Helbore models less of a hell-bore, and that’s just naming a few ranged options.
  • bleed zealot with a combat knife and an autopistol (I will be salty at you forever for it but you’ll be too far across the map from the rest of the team for me to complain)
  • crit zealot with your preferred finesse weapon, such as the Rashad combat axe or devil’s claw mark 1 or 4 (because spamming Chastise the Wicked 8 times in ~5 seconds is fun)
  • soulfire psyker (probably the guy Billy Joel is looking for because they almost certainly started the fire) with your favorite flavor of magic stick. I like the trauma force and trauma surge staves, personally. The new (well, new to you) force swords are worth checking out to pair with it
  • gun psyker with an autopistol (you can use other ranged weapons, but something about a head-exploding wizard with a dinky-looking gun that is actually a Swiss cheese factory appeals to me on a primal level)
  • ogryn
  • ogryn
  • ogryn (I listed ogryn three times because they take up that much space)
  • but seriously can opener/blaze away ripper gun ogryns to annihilate elites and monstrosities has been my go-to for a while
  • crowd control ogryn with weapons and blessings oriented towards helping you shove heretics into lockers. A good mark III brunt’s hittin’ stick is worth going after

Those are just a handful of options, mind. And before anyone says “BUT THAT’S NOT THE META!!1”… okay. Screw the meta. I’m bad at games/bad at life and I’ve cleared every type of damnation mission imaginable with those same builds, and I’ve been in teams with people who helped blaze trails with them as well. The meta is an ever-shifting crutch that offers zero true stability and teaches you nothing about the game in the process, and in my experience, you’re better off finding what works for your playstyle and building around that.


Looks like you missed the point. That’s okay. I’m pretty sure others will get it.


Got it. By your own admission, you left the game months ago and missed some updates, so… are you just here to complain?


Are you just here to confuse the issues until the game dies?


This is clearly a riveting and brand new discussion that will go places


When you figure out it’s about control vs not being controlled, I’ll be here.



In the beta, dodging with a ranged weapons did not put you in the dodge state, meaning enemy attacks tracked you and hit you through the dodge.

The animation speed-bump wasn’t fixed as it’s definitely a design decision where ranged weapons have a longer pull out time the more powerful they are as a balancing measure. The only thing ‘fixed’ was more variation with the ranged weapon pull-out animation.

The game eating weapon swap inputs is a still occurring network/server issue.

Most melee weapon activations are massive risk for minor reward, or repetitive busy work that doesn’t add to the enjoyment of using a weapon.

On the tabletop and in lore slab shields were almost always paired with the grenade gauntlet, and the pure melee shields setup are shock maul plus power bucklers.


Ty. The pattern is there.

At first, I thought they were just trying to force Darktide to be Vermintide, perhaps in hopes of maintaining the exact same audience, and that this was a mistake because Darktide needed to be it’s own thing because of the differences between WH and W40K.

And that MIGHT be where it started, might not… but at some point, maybe unconsciously, the idea that ‘we have to control everything the player does’ took over.

And that has gotten us to this point, because people wouldn’t take it.

I’m pointing it out, because I think the only chance to change it is to name it.


I’m a strong believer that restriction can be an essential part of design. The options you choose not to give are as valuable as those you do give in molding the experience.

The problem isn’t that FS has clear design intent with set boundaries. It’s that their design intent is simply unsatisfying and unrewarding.

So no I’m pretty sure the real issue is not that FS has an idea in their head for how the game should be played, it’s that their vision is simply not fun for most, and yes, they could be more receptive to criticism but on the other hand if they’d folded to every mass outcry in VT2 that game would have been absolutely destroyed, so careful what you wish for.

TL;DR We have been discussing the right thing this whole time, the actual design elements, it’s this post that feels like it’s missing the real problems to me.


Illuminati confirmed. It was the Swedes all along!

I don’t disagree with the notion that flexibility in how we handle things is desirable, but the design of whatever feature/scenario we’re talking about will always produce a best way, or at least a commonly accepted way of doing things, which most people will follow. That’s true in every team game, regardless of how much freedom the design tries to give you.

Real world team combat allows you to just totally ignore the space behind you once you’ve cleared it once?


not sure that all scans, you call it control i call it incentivising better play, the amount of bad ogres and vets we see now these nudges are gone has gone up no end , they happily dance backwards training the team in the rear because they “want to play thier way!” if they dont want to use melee they shoudlnt have to! no matter how the game rules and mechaincs were set.

AT what point does choosing to do things contrary to the game rules go from them being controlling to the plyer simply being bad?

the lasgun made sense and was a good to build in differences. to have different weapons to specialise in different uses. the dodge with ranged was good, def should be weaker when your using the wrong thing for the current situation , its depth its making you react, the game is a melee/ranged combat hybrid , is it not fair that they should behave different? isnt that simply sensible game design?

the rear spawns were a problem and have i think been fixed by and large, myself i still would like more V2 like sound ques, and yes some over powered stuff got balanced.

this is like power creep but with complaining. the real complaint is its too slow to get upgrades. pool variance, sample rate, mechanics are all causes, but over time its got exagerated out of whack ond laser focuused so not only do we miss more than half the problem but the complaint has been getting more hyperbolic as time goes by as peopel keep one upping it to keep it top of the list, so we go from actual fair complaints to just being wrong.

i have builds i have control of we all do. the locks do not prevent it they make it so it feels too rare/frustrating for a very vocal group.

yes exactly its a bad place to stay, your far from the objective and wont be helping with that , choosing to be out of cherency with the team mates that are working the objective, missing sight lines, people wont be bale to get to you to save you if you get incapacitated.

But they still let you stay there if you want. there are plenty of places on the ground floor at the edges teams can use to get a much safer tactical advantage , we choose not to use them.

Most games do this to an extent, it’s just that DTs design is lacking on many fronts.

Janky spawns are a direct result of bad level design mixed with a bad AI-controller. I can’t believe they’d purposefully make enemies pop into existence next to you without using either a proper spawn entry or appropriate distance. It’s most likely a bug that will get fixed next year or so.

Weird weapon handling is a result of balancing efforts gone awry.
It seems to me like the Devs added way too many hidden knobs and levers with which they try to balance their weapons. On top of ammo count, a dozen main stats and substats, overall damage, cleave, block efficiency, stagger, first target damage, cleave damage, rate of fire etc. They also added hidden stats like the reverse falloff you mentioned.

They try to bang the game into shape until the players play it how they’re supposed to, which is a strange approach. Too many hidden mechanics make for a tedious experience. I’m not keen to take into account whatever weird balancing act was chosen for my particular class/weapon/ability by the Devs.

Streamline your mechanics, then add to it later down the line. At the moment they’re pulling, plucking and twisting every variable they can think of to make it work. That convoluted and chaotic approach seems to be endemic to the game.


I dont honestly think the way FS are currently developing their systems is malicious, however they do seem to want to keep gripping a nettle that is hurting them for reasons - I suspect - are that their in-game systems are simply too tangled and embedded to effectively untangle things at this point -
See @Merdoc 's point about so many variables.

I know someone will come along and say “they just need to change a single line of code” but the meta-implications of just removing the locks is probably quite deep and is likely to pull the rug out from under their future plans. Their futureplans obviously include money making, or their future plans for mats gain and so on.

Having said all that there is a marked change in their coporate behaviour and it feels pretty repugnant to be almost forced to craft and build things in a fairly restrictive manner that fatshark impose upon you, or at least a manner that is quite clearly either incomplete(future plans and all that) or designed to inflate grind or to outright stop people being able to get the top tier weapons they want to try out, or simply have a change to stop things being stale.


I like your style SlenderBarracuda. Stay classy.

"Designed to inflate grind.’ Exactly!

I’ve given quite a number of points on this pattern, and I’d angered the usual suspects, but I don’t claim I can prove what is in other people’s heads. What I can and have done is shown the pattern of behavior that got us here.

The grind inflation is very much a good example, as was the cash shop between spawn and the armory, and the armory resets, and so on.

A little bit of this is expected, but Darktide was well over the tipping point at launch.

Most combat organizations from the beginning have taken all actions possible to prevent it, and all actions possible to do it to the other guy. Here we can’t do anything whatsoever and it happens more if we try to be clever.

But you did mention ‘you’ll be out of coherency.’ Quite right! That’s one I missed. Coherency. Another control. Maybe not the worst one, nor the spawning of extra specials if you stop a moment to snag that plasteel on the platform, but even so, another point on the pattern.

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So that’s a “no” then.

The balcony in your example can totally be used as a fighting position, especially if the whole team is there to cover the enemies that spawn really close. Even if you discount the enemy spawn locations up there, it’s just a really terrible place to set up.

It’s a narrow catwalk with terrible angles and cover, where the only evac options are to jump over the rail or back up into a narrow corridor, both of which are probably swarming with enemies. Bombers, flamers and grenadiers will dislodge you with ease if they’re allowed to survive for more than a few seconds after they spawn.

And then when the console breaks you have to move as a unit, fix the console, then move back as a unit. Those kinds of maneuvres are really risky in a pug setting.

That one wasn’t me.